By Hadas Kuznits

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A program in Camden, NJ is helping elementary school kids learn about nutrition in the classroom.

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Valerie Frick, with the Camden Children’s Garden, says as part of the Campbell Soup Company‘s initiative to reduce hunger and obesity in Camden schoolkids, they’ve created “grow labs” in classrooms where students can grow their own vegetables.

Frick says the program — which culminates with a “salad party” — goes a long way in helping to combat malnutrition.

“It’s a big issue in all major cities across the United States, and Camden is known as a food desert, meaning people don’t have equitable access to healthy food,” Frick tells KYW Newsradio.

Fifth grade teacher Chester Chapman says students get excited about trying the food they grew themselves.

“We grew lettuce, onions, carrots, tomatoes,” he notes.

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And Frick says there’s a lot that can be done to encourage kids to make better food choices.

“As parents, we need to lead by example, and growing food is a relatively cheap exercise,” she says.  And, she advises, “Eating healthier in front of children, not spreading food stereotypes by showing your dislike of something that’s healthy.”

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